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Consumer confidence rises to pre-crisis levels

Consumer sentiment in Hungary has returned to near levels before the start of the financial and economic crisis, the latest quarterly measure of confidence by market research company GfK and Budapest Corvinus University shows.

The GfK consumer confidence index measured 148.5 points in June, 34 points higher than in March, slightly over the 147.1 points in June a year earlier, and just under the 150.3 points in September.

The consumer expectations index rose 51.3 points to 177.1 points in June from three months earlier, as households were more optimistic both about their own financial outlook as well as that of the country. About 62% said the country would be in a better position in the coming five years.

The purchasing propensity index rose 14.8 points to 116.8 points.

About three-fourths of households expected unemployment to rise in the June survey, down from 86pc three months earlier. One-fourth said the jobless rate would remain unchanged.

Almost 90% of households said consumer prices would rise in the coming year, probably because of government austerity measures. Almost one-third said their income would rise at the same rate as prices, while 57% said it would climb at a slower rate.

Households' propensity to borrow was unchanged: about 60% said they would never borrow, while one-third said they would, but not until later. (MTI-ECONEWS)